Porcelyn Prayers

AsEyeSee

Joined October 2008

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Artist's Description

Porcelyn Prayers is part of an As Eye See Photographic Series promoting awareness and raising funds for the talented local artists of Bisbee, Arizona.

50% of all sales’proceeds from all cards and prints in this series are being donated to the Bisbee-based, non-profit Central School Project

The Central School Project (CSP) is a non-profit organization fostering appreciation of the arts in the southeast Arizona community, and serving the community with arts and ecology programming providing affordable, creative space to working artists.

As a community service organization in a rural community which has become widely recognized as a center for the arts, CSP supports and collaborates with individuals and organizations to further cultural and ecological awareness in the community. Programs include exhibits, films, plays, poetry readings, workshops and other public events. In addition, CSP makes its resources available to the community for a variety of programs and activities.

I am passionate about this artsy community, because without these individuals, I would never be able to bring their beauty to you through my photography.

I pledge to donate 50% of all of my sales’ proceeds from all cards and prints of their artistry in this series to help to promote and support their continued expressed creativity, and artistic inspiration through the Central School Project

The Stairways of Bisbee
One of Bisbee’s most magnificent, yet seldom heralded, architectural achievements are the countless concrete stairs that cling to the steep canyonsides. Lack of flat land and the need for miners and bosses to reside near their workings led to the construction of hundreds of hillside homes beginning in the late 1870s. The owners and occupants of the irregularly shaped, sometimes nearly vertical, parcels had to develop dependable routes to reach their properties.

The sturdy early Bisbeeite initially relied on precipitous trails featuring switchbacks. However, these winding inclines soon proved impractical as they were difficult to maintain and became slippery in wet weather.

Next, the clever canyonside dwellers constructed a network of wooden stairs, often resembling ladders!
The wooden stairs provided straight up-and-down access to the dwellings from the canyon floor. This,
however, changed in the 1930s.

Many of the major concrete stairways we still see today were constructed during the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration, one of the Federal Government’s back-to-work programs. ‘WPA’ was often pressed into the concrete or tagged on an embedded bronze plaque. It is still common for nice houses to be situated on a parcel that is accessible only by climbing 100 or 200 steps to reach the front door!

The Old Bisbee stairs are so significant in our community that even today they bear descriptive or noble names, including the Broadway Steps, Quality Hill Walk, and School Alley. The stairs also appeared as major thoroughfares on the earliest townsite surveys.

In October, Save Our Stairs celebrates its annual Bisbee 1000 stairclimb and Ice Man competition. Adding to its focus of preserving the historic stairs is a new focus on obesity. Bisbee has three miles, or 351 preserved sets of stairs. The Save Our Stairs event only uses a half mile of steps, or nine sets! For the athletically inclined, join the stairclimb in October (www.bisbee1000.org).

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved place, but rather to skid in
sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: WOO HOO what a ride!”

Photographed by JD Brummer for As Eye See Photography of some broken porcelyn tea sets discovered artfully embedded within Bisbee’s historic stairs.

Artwork Comments

  • Littlehalfwings
  • AsEyeSee
  • Jennifer Hulbert-Hortman
  • AsEyeSee
  • Livvy Young
  • AsEyeSee
  • Richard G Witham
  • richman
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